Monday, March 29, 2010

Walt Disney World Trip Report part 1: Hidden treasures in the Studios

Monorail!  Monorail!
We went to Walt Disney World. It was a lot of fun. Then we went home. The end.
As if!
You're in for FIVE Disney World related posts. Fortunately, I'll be focusing on some of the more unusual things we saw and did. For example: weird things at the Disney Hollywood Studios.
Poor Roger.
The Disney Hollywood Studios park opened in the late 80's as the Disney/MGM Studios. Originally, it was a working television and animation studio, and was essentially the basis of operations for the Disney Channel at the time. The original rides and shows were largely based upon the popular Disney movies of the time - but if you look closely, so are many elements of the park design itself. Keep your eyes open especially for Roger Rabbit. He's all over the park even today (see above; I'd have a photo of the "Hidden Roger" in the window of one of the buildings above the Prime Time Cafe but it didn't come out). This makes sense as the entire parks' aesthetic is based mostly upon this film.
Old school.
The meat and potatoes of the old Disney/MGM live shows were audience participation. This theater (as the sign suggests) used to hold one such show: Superstar Television. Today, the theater holds the much-hyped American Idol Experience. Now, I was not so enthused about this as I am not a fan of the show -- but it's a lot of fun! The main reason is simply because it hearkens back to the old audience participation shows.
The Line Ride!
This photo is really just for the LOLs. This is how you can spot people who did not read The Unofficial Guide to Disney World. These poor people are standing in line to walk through a small room with a few props and then watch commercials for a
three year old movie based on a book series Disney no longer even owns the rights to. What?
Now, I was in this area for two reasons. One: to find the brand new Toy Story Midway Mania ride, which is so much fun it shouldn't be legal. (We waited in line for an hour and a half, though.) Two: to go into the old Magic of Disney Animation building and try to find the Animated Mural. Supposedly, there is a mural in the building upon which the animators drew a character from every animation worked on at the studio. This mural doesn't seem to exist (although there are many Disney characters drawn on the walls), but if you poke around, you will find a lot of cool stuff like this:
Everyone's going to call it "Rapunzel" anyway, so f*** it.
Posters for "Rapunzel" "Rapunzel Unbraided" "Rapunzel" "Tangled". Looks very nice so far. (By the way, I don't *even* have an opinion about the title change. They could call it "Captain Kickass and the Testosterone Twins" and I -a person with ovaries- wouldn't be scared away because I love me some Glen Keane. And the thing is, everyone's just going to call it "Rapunzel" anyway.
Disney's kind of strange about naming things anyway, aren't they? I saw the arcade in Tomorrowland and remembered that they're rumored to be retheming it and it's Disneyland equivalent to "Flynn's Arcade". My thought is, what took them so long? It could have been called Flynn's Arcade for decades! They had the little cafeteria in Fantasyland [now known as Mrs. Pott's Cabinet] named Gurgi's Munchy-Crunchies for *years* after "The Black Cauldron" nose-dived on arrival and there's a barbecue on Castaway Cay named after Cookie, which is like daring Disney fans to get the reference.)

Far more interesting (speaking of Keane) is what I found in the attraction's old queue line:
Animation Courtyard Gallery
An outdoor gallery of concept art! God, I love concept art! The path snakes all around the building, so there's a ton to look at. Check out Cody and Marahute.
Next Post: The Magic Kingdom, before Princess Ragnarok.
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Sketch of the Day! Here's the view from the Rose and Crown Pub:
3.6.10 Sketchbook Page
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There is a phenomenal interview with Don Hahn over at the Onion AV Club and it is definitely worth a read, if only to learn the strange sibling rivalry between "The Lion King" and "Pocahontas" and to remind yourself why we all need to raise a pint to Roy E. Disney. I've already got "Waking Sleeping Beauty" in my "Saved" Netflix Queue.
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Wikkid Important Addendum!
I have just received my comp copies of IF-X's April issue with my cover art in the mail today. I'm not gonna lie. It was emotional.

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